Duffin declined to speculate what construction might cost. Harbor Commission members have indicated that the money will come from a harbormaster enterprise fund that is supported each year by docking fees and boating registrations.
In the recent fiscal year, the harbormaster’s department generated close to $340,000 from registrations and docking permits.
About 1,450 boats were registered in the past year, one of the busiest ever.
Mayor Donna Holaday several months ago commented, “This could be a good project. Certainly we want to entice visitors and expand (amenities) that we can offer.”
She said at the time that determining a method to pay for such an undertaking would be crucial to the process.
Ann Ormond, president of the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said she was unaware of a plan to include her organization in such a building.
The Newburyport Redevelopment Authority is developing plans for two structures on its 4.2 acres nearby and tentative plans call for a Chamber office in that complex.
The NRA project envisions shops, restaurants, 30 to 35 condominium units, public restrooms and offices for the Chamber. However, the NRA has not finalized any aspect of its conceptual plan.
Members of the Harbor Commission include Duffin, Bob Dow, Stephen Hines, Jaime Knapp, Paul Dahn, Paul Rooney, Andrew Casson, Justin Dutcher, Richard O’Leary and Benedetto Orlando.